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San Francisco 27, The City 6, Dr. Faulkner 4, San Franciscoans 3, Starchild 3, Us 3, Richard Janning 2, Chiu 2, Sean 2, City 2, Jay Coenig 1, Lee 1, Jim Reid 1, Schwarzenegger 1, David Chu 1, Russ Baldwin 1, Dr. Scott Fauker 1, Scott Weiner 1, Recetion 1, New City 1,
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  SFGTV2    [untitled]  

    October 27, 2012
    3:30 - 4:00pm PDT  

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income home owners. this is going to go primarily for low and very low householders in san francisco. that has always been the programmatic focus because you can leverage funding. we live in a high income market and that is exactly why we have an affordable sector in this city. when it comes it recreating redevelopment, that's a fallacy. it's about recognizing that redevelopment allowed a certain portion of money to be used for redevelopment. it's not about recreating redevelopment, in fact that's a closed chapter in history. lastly the idea we are reducing the mixed income housing is also a sort of fallacy. there is a purpose to providing an incentive for developers to do what's called
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mixed income housing, providing some of their units are affordable to mixed income households. most developers do not do that and this is an incentive for them to do it. this is providing a set of programs that are funded providing all the way for folks who were formerly homeless to folks who are middle income to be and stay in san francisco. >> any final comments, starchild. >> it sounds like peter is saying on one hand, well, no, it won't subsidize middle income people then he's saying there is a range all the way from middle income people all the way up to -- he doesn't say what the top range is. there's a guy named jim reid who is a contractor here he built himself in his own back yard a single unit house that he built for $12,000, very small, designed for one person, getting somebody off the
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street, like 10 foot by 10 foot but it had plumbing, electricity, storage, everything someone would need to live a simple existence. 12,000, how much is it going to cost to build these, half a million dollars? they are not really affordable. they're not going to help those most in need of housing as we can see by the continued presence of the homeless on the streets of san francisco. this is a measure designed to capture revenue like the redevelopment agency did. >> thank you both very much for sharing your thoughts and insights. we hope this discussion was informative. for more information on this and other ballot measures in this year's election, please visit the san francisco league of women voters web site at sfvotes.org and remember early voting is available at city hall monday
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through friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm if you don't vote early , be sure to vote on november 6. thank you. . >> hi, i'm richard janning, a board member of the league of women voters. along with the league and sf gof tv, i'm here to discuss proposition d, a ballot measure that will be before the voters on november 6. the mayor, sheriff and district attorney are elected in november of the same year. the city attorney and treasurer are elected in november of a different year. proposition d is a charter amendment that would change the election cycle for city attorney and treasurer so that these officers would be elected at the same time as the mayor, sheriff and district
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attorney beginning in 2015. i'm here with district 8 supervisor scott weiner, and dr. scott fauker, an opponent of proposition d >> let's start with you, supervisor. thanks for having me. proposition d is a good government measure that will increase voter turnout in our elections for city attorney and treasurer, two very important offices, and will also save the city 4.2 million dollars every 4 years. right now we elect our city attorney and treasurer in a very, very low turnout odd year election where they are the only two offices on the ballot. and turnout is always extremely low in that election. and it costs us over $4 million dollars to hold that election.
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proposition d would move the city attorney and treasurer elections to be on the same ballot as the mayor, which is a much myer turn jut election, so more people would be voting for city attorney and treasurer and every time we don't hold that very low turnout odd year election separately for city attorney and treasurer, we'll save 4.2 million dollars. prop d was put on the ballot unanimously by the board of supervisors and it's been endorsed overwhelmingly by both the democratic and republican party. >> dr. faulkner, do you think this is a good idea. >> it has several problems. the original theory is the charter of 1932 was to stagger elections so people would pay more attention to each office, in other words, elect a couple offices each time and do it on an annual basis. this has been modified with various charter amendments but the new charter but the other way theoretically you have more people involved,
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but in practice when you have those 3-page ballots printed on either side, offices get lost. things like city attorney and city treasurer will get lost in the shuffle. the big problem is city government, making sure the people actually pay attention. we have had a problem for a long time with san francisco and dysfunctional san francisco. that's depending on other city issues that are up, the coalition to san francisco neighborhoods is going against them. we have a city government that's very out of touch in many ways and we're, frankly, annual elections would be very wise to keep the people paying attention it what's happened. we have very strong developer interest, strong lobbyist influence, and very little public interest. things get sidelined and they wonder
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why things suddenly get opposed like the park bond which is being heavily opposeopposed. >> thank you. supervisor, do you believe having the elections all at one time is better for the electorate or does it get lost when you have so many positions up for election? >> since he did raise the issue of the parks bond, we're not here for that. the parks bond has very overwhelming support. going back to prop d, there's a balance to be struck. i agree if we only had, if we elected everything from president to dog catcher all on 1 ticket at some point it gets to be too much, but if you spread everything out too much, we could have separate elections for like two offices here, two offices there and have multiple elections every year. yes, that would give more air time to each individual election but no one would vote and you'd have extremely low turn out elections. so for the city
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attorney-treasurer elections at issue here, even though they have higher prominence in their stand alone odd year election, when only 15, 20 percent, maybe 25 percent in a good year, are actually voting in that election, what's the point? more prominence but no one's actually voting for it. a bad turnout for a mayoral election is better than a good turnout for city attorney-treasurer stand alone election. so combining those elections gives a bad balance in terms of increasing voter participation and improving our budget situation. >> thank you. dr. faulkner, if we don't have good voter turnout for the odd year for the city treasurer position, why not combine it with the rest? >> as i said, annual elections at least keep people paying attention. the history of san francisco, which is not a good one, we have had a lot of corruption over the years, russ
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baldwin, the roof ring, the history of san francisco is pretty open. we have had a tremendous amount of developer influence at city hall, a tremendous amount of lobbying, the people are pushed out of it. we need more public participation. originally odd elections were scheduled for the mayor's race, we do not schedule it with the president for that reason. with the first repeal of district elections the people who did the first repeal suddenly moved it over to presidential and gubenatorial elections and changed the pattern. >> dr. faulkner, excuse me for a second. i'm trying to get back to the point here. if we don't feel there's sufficient voter turnout in the treasurer
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cycle, why not put it with the all the rest. >> first of all we usually have other measures up at the same time including ballot measures, bonds and all the rest. usually those annual elections are important. often they are combined with stake wide elections anyway. the 4 million he is talking about is an illusion because we frequently have special elections for the state as well. that's a very persistent thing under schwarzenegger and a lot of people. >> supervisor, we have a little time left and i would like you to conclude and give your opinion why you think we should be voting for this. >> in 2001 we elected city attorney and treasurer in an election that had i think something like 12 or 13 percent turnout. these are two very, very important positions, we should maximize turnout. i think it makes perfect sense to elect these positions with the mayor. i can't tell you how many people after i proposed this at
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the board of supervisors, paepl on the board, off the board, came up to me and said why didn't anyone think of this before, it makes so much sense. it will save us money, it will mean more people voting for city attorney and treasurer and if that's not democracy, i don't know what is. there's a reason why this is getting such broad support and i think it deserves the voters' support. >> thank you. and dr. faulkner, would you please summarize why you believe people should be voting against this measure? >> originally it was all odd year elections for city government. the main focus was to have a lot of elections spread out so people would pay attention. that was the idea of the 1932 charter. it is good in the sense given the history of san francisco and, frankly, a lot of governmental problems we had historically, getting people to pay attention to city government has been very important. we had 1901 to 1907 a group called roof ring, they
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described the 18 supervisors then on the board as, quote, so corrupt they would eat the paint off the walls. that's the reason why we want people to pay attention to their city government. frankly, new england city governments are the small ones and tall hall government is the best of all. we can't do that. but we can give people is exposure to city government, it avoids a lot of problems. we have had a lot of mistakes. (inaudible) was not built when they put in the underground, that caused umpty million dollars to correct. >> we hope this discussion was informative. for more information on this and other ballot measures in this year's election, please visit the san francisco league of women
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voters at sfvotes.org. remember, early voting is available at city hall monday through friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm if you don't vote early, be sure hi, i'm richard janning, board member of the league of women voters. along with the league and sf gof tv, i'm here to discuss proposition e the city requires businesses it pay a flat 1.5 percent tax on payroll cost for work performed in the city. small businesses with less than 250,000 dollars in payroll costs are exempt from the tax. proposition e would create a new city business tax based on gross receipts rather than
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payroll costs. under the new system, the tax on payroll cost would be eliminated or reduced. businesses with gross receipts of less than 1 million dollars annually will be exempt from the gross receipts tax. the gross receipts tax rate would vary depending on the type of business and its annual gross receipts from its activity in the city. certain businesses that have their headquarters or administrative offices in san francisco that operate primarily in other locations would pay the gross receipts tax based on payroll costs. proposition e would require the city to phase in the gross receipts tax and phase out the tax on payroll costs over a 5 year period beginning in 2014. if the gross receipts tax revenue exceeds the revenue the city would have received under the tax on the payroll costs, then the tax on the payroll costs will be phased out and the final gross receipts tax rate will be lower than the maximum submitted in this
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measure. i'm here with board of supervisors president david chu, and also joining us is starchild and former candidate for public office and opponent of the office. supervisor chiu, please explain why we should be voting for this proposition. >> so proposition e is a measure it reform our current business tax. over a decade ago, a lawsuit forced our city to use a business tax that is problematic for many reasons. first and foremost, it is a tax on jobs. every time a local employer hires someone there is a business payroll tax that's levied on that person. secondly, it is a tax that is only levied on 10 percent of all businesses and many of these are small businesses who have really been asking for reform for many many years. currently we are the only city in the state of california that uses this business payroll tax. our city government, we spent
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6 months earlier this year in conversations with many leaders within the community to propose a change to a so-called gross receipts tax, which is superior on a number of levels. first and foremost, it's a tax on revenue. it's a tax on profit. it's also a progressive tax, unlike the current flat tax it's a tax that exempts small businesses that have revenues of less than a million dollars but it also increases taxes for our most successful and our largest businesses. then the last thing i will mention, it is a tax that will help to recoup the revenues that we lost 10 years ago to make sure we have money for affordable housing, for muni, public safetying and public health . >> starchild, why do you think we should vote against this proposition? >> i agree with everything supervisor chiu said about payroll tax. if this measure were revenue neutral, if it
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were substituting a gross receipts tax for a tax on payroll, the libertarian party would have supported it. but unfortunately some people at city hall got greedy and so the measure is actually a 25.8 million dollars a year tax increase. during a recetion, people are suffering, many people unemployed, many people in san francisco are earning minimum wage, thousands of course on our streets. it's the wrong time to be raising taxes on businesses because the largest employers, of course, have the largest number of jobs and you incentivize those employers to go away and we're going to lose jobs. >> supervisor, from reading the material on the proposition it appears it will increase the number of businesses you will
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be taxing from 7500 to 15,000. doplt you think that's increasing the tax on the companies within the city? >> a couple things of note. our current business payroll tax is only applied to 10 percent of all businesses and that means these businesses are shouldering the burden for the entire business community of city services that the private sector receives. the business community has recognized for years that this is unfair and so what we've been trying to do is to spread these expenses more evenly across the business sector, going from 10 percent of all businesses to 20 percent of all businesses. and i think the other thing that's worth noting is 10 years ago when this lawsuit hit our city which forced us into the tax that we have now, this unfair tax, we lost about $30 million dollars of revenue. so what we're trying to do right now is make up that revenue. in recent years every single year i have been in office we have had to balance massive
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budget deficits. in fact, my first couple years we had half billion dollar budget deficits we were trying to eliminate from our budget. the thought of not only bringing back 30 million that we lost a couple years ago, it's only a small amount compared to what we have had to cut the last couple years and i think everyone has seen the impact of not having enough money for muni, having to close down services vital to our city, not having money to build affordable housing for our police officers, our fire fighters, our nurses, our public health system, i think we all see the benefit of that. >> starchild, you made a comment earlier that you agreed with the supervisor with the exception of the registration fee for all the businesses. is that the only issue that you disagree with or are there other issues that you disagree with? >> that's the only issue. the issue is that we shouldn't be transferring more money from the people of san francisco to the government of san francisco. government has grown so much in recent years and now we're in the middle of
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an economic downturn when people are hurting. thousands of individual san franciscoans, businesses, have had their budgets cut. they have lost jobs over the past decade. they have lost more revenue than the 30 million city hall has because city hall has taken more than that amount from the people and businesses of san francisco. unfortunately it's complicated to try to get them to tell their individual stories, it dosment tell about all the individual families and people that have had their budgets cut. any measure that takes more money from the people is a bad thing. this particular measure, it recognizes that going after the smallest employers is bad, you know, but most businesses in san francisco are small employers and why penalize them for growing and being successful? you know, if they start to get more -- i disagree
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that it's tax on profits because gross receipts is not necessarily profits, profits is a you earn after your expenses, gross receipts, it's what you earn before your expenses. somebody could learn a lot of money on paper and after their expenses they could lose money as a company but still have it pay this tax. >> supervisor, what would you like to say in closing? >> well, i think it's important to note that this was a measure that was worked on really by the people of san francisco. so it's a measure that's not only supported unanimously by the board of supervisors and by our mayor, but it was agreed upon with the business community as well as the entire labor community, the democratic party has endorsed it as well as the republican party. advocates for our homeless and public health system as well as our police and fire fighters and folks that want to build more affordable housing, there really is support for this across the spectrum. and i do think it's also worth
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noting that this measure, while it will bring a little bit more tax revenue, is also projected to bring in on average about 1700 new jobs a year when it is implemented. and the reason for that is rather than taxing jobs, we are taxing revenue. and we have targeted for different industries based on the levels of revenues that they get. some industries have high gross revenues but low profits and we have lower gross receipts rates for them, so the idea that somehow those industries might be targeted, we spent a lot of time with many leaders in the business community including and particularly small business advocates around the city to make sure this was carefully crafted. so i really do hope voters will support this consensus measure with proposition e because it's good measure for jobs, it's a good measure for our city, it's a good measure to make sure san francisco continues to inknow 78 and continue to employ all san franciscoans. >> starchild, how would you
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like to conclude? >> again, when you hear bi-partisan compromise at city hall, hold on to your walts as the saying goes. obviously the libertarian party didn't have a seat at the table and i don't feel like tax opponents in general -- proponents of people keeping more of their money they earn really had a seat at the table with this. mayor lee's initial proposal wasn't bad. he wanted to make it revenue neutral but the measure got modified through the back door dealing, things got changed and we round up with a revenue non-neutral measure. again, payroll tax is bad. i'm all for getting rid of it. everything else being equal, i'm sure it would result in more jobs but we'd rather see something fair across the board that didn't take more money from the people and, you know, few teer tax breaks to favored companies like twitter and so forth, just a strict revenue
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neutral approach across the board for everyone. >> thank you for your time. we hope this discussion was informative. for more information on this and other ballot measures in this election please visit the league of women voters at sfvotes.org. remember, early voting is available monday through friday at city hall from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm if you don't vote early, be sure hi, i'm jay coenig, a member of the league of women voters. along with the league and sfgovtv, i'm here to discuss proposition f, a ballot measure that will be before the voters on november 6. san francisco owns the hetch
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hetchy regional water system which provides water to about 2.5 million people in san francisco and neighboring areas. proposition f would require the city to prepare a two-phase plan to evaluate how to drain the hetch hetchy reservoir and identify replacement water and power sources. the first phase would identify new water supply and storage options, additional water conservation opportunities, expanded water filtration facilities, and additional renewable energy sources. the second phase would evaluate how to drain the hetch hetchy valley and stop using it as a reservoir so it can be restored by the national park service, increase flows on the lower tuolome river and decrease storm water discharge into the bay and the ocean. proposition f would allocate 8 million dollars to pay for the plan and create a 5-member task
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fers to develop it. i'm here with mike marshal, the executive director of restore hetch hetchy and a proponent of proposition f we're also joined by district 7 supervisor, sean he elsbernd, representing the save hetch hetchy no on f campaign. gentlemen, thanks so much for taking the time to be with us today. >> thank you. >> mike, i'd like to give you the opportunity to make a brief statement of your work on the proposition. >> wonderful, thank you. proposition f is about san francisco's values, it's about their environmental values. in real short explanation, it requires the city to develop a plan for the future to guarantee our water security and begin to undo the damage that our current water system does to the environment. the plan would then be brought back to the voters in 2016 for their aprafl or disapproval so it's placing the city on a
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trajectory we're not currently on. we don't recycle any water, we've abandoned most ground water since hetch hetchy became available and we've done real damage to the tuolome river and we begin it's time to get in line with the city's values. it's a plan the voters ultimately get to approve. >> i disagree. i think proposition f is about one thing and one thing only, about forcing the city to spend $8 million dollars to conduct a plan that would require us to drain hetch hetchy reservoir at a cost of anywhere between 3 and 10 billion dollars that gets translated to our rate payers at anywhere between $2,000 and $2700 per year per rate payer. this is a proposal largely hoisted upon san franciscoans by outsiders. not
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one san francisco organization supports this measure. every group from san francisco tomorrow to the republican party across the political spectrum opposes us wasting this money, particularly because it is a plan that has been conducted at least 7 times over the last many decades and each time we've been told it is a colossal failure and not one we should pursue. >> mike, this gives you an opportunity to tell us why this time would be different. >> what sean is describing is not what's in the initiative. it's just a planning process. yes, our goal is to bring the hetch hetchy valley and yosemite back to life. san francisco is the only city allowed to park its water in a national park. a hundred years we made that decision and bee think every hundred years san francisco should revisit that decision. there's no down side to that. but you can't do that without also reforming our 19th century
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water system. it was designed in the 19th century and as a result it's very damaging to the environment. what we do is look at how do we consolidate from 9 reservoirs into 8 and begin to build our local water resources to offset a small percentage of water loss that might happen. let's figure that out. let's not have a conversation based on hypobole, in terms of sean saying there are 7 reports saying it's not feasible, that's not true. what's unfortunate about all those is the city of san francisco has boycotted participating in those studies. san francisco says, wait a minute we have a unique responsibility here. we're the only city that stores our water in a national park so let's see how we can do better because we don d